A highly arboreal monkey (6) (11), the black crested mangabey typically forages in the middle and upper canopy, 12 to 30 metres off the ground (4). Mangabeys are able to jump up to five metres between trees as they forage (4), but may also occasionally venture down to the forest floor in search of food (12). Most foraging takes place in the morning (13).
The black crested mangabey’s diet consists primarily of fruit and seeds, although it may also feed on some flowers, young leaves, nectar and bark (1) (14). Small animal prey, such as insects, may also be occasionally eaten (4) (14). All mangabey species have large incisors to bite into fruit and flat molars which help to crack open and crush hard seeds (15). Mangabeys also have large food pouches in the cheeks, used to store food (5).
The black crested mangabey lives in multi-male, multi-female troops of 9 to 16 individuals (4). Each troop inhabits a home range of approximately 48 to 70 hectares, which may overlap with the range of other troops (4).
Little information is available on the breeding biology of the black crested mangabey in the wild. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the black crested mangabey has been recorded giving birth in the wet season, in July and August (16). Mangabeys commonly give birth to a single young after a gestation period of five and a half to six months (9).
The crowned hawk eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) is a common predator of the black crested mangabey. When this bird is detected, the mangabey gives an alarm-bark then seeks cover in the dense canopy foliage, where it will remain silent for many hours (13).